Have you recently decided to explore the benefits of orthodontics? If you’re thinking of straightening your smile, you’ve come to the right place. At Orthodontic Specialists, the name says it all—we’re experts in creating beautiful smiles for families throughout the Cincinnati Metro area!
Our practice offers a range of treatment options for patients of all ages, including braces and Invisalign clear aligners. These are our two most popular treatments, and while both are excellent solutions for misaligned smiles, there are some significant differences between them.
Our goal is for every patient to feel confident in each step of the orthodontic process, which allows them to play a more active role in their treatment. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at how braces and clear aligners work to give you a confident smile with improved oral health! Along with input from our experienced orthodontists, this information will help you determine which of these options could be the best fit for your smile.
Two different approaches, the same incredible result
Traditional braces have been around for many years and have a well-established history of successfully treating malocclusions. They have metal or ceramic brackets that are attached directly to the surface of your teeth, then tied together by wires and tiny rubber bands or elastics. Over time, these components work together to gently move the teeth into the desired positions.
Unlike braces, clear aligners are removable. Instead of brackets, bands, and wires, the Invisalign system uses a series of customized aligners to shift the teeth. Each aligner is made of a special thermoplastic material and comes with small tooth-colored attachments. This allows the Invisalign aligners to fit firmly but comfortably over the teeth. Patients switch each aligner out for the next in the series every 1-2 weeks to facilitate the movement of the teeth.
Everything you need to know about braces
Traditional braces are very efficient at correcting oral issues ranging from mild to complex. They can sometimes be faster at closing gaps and aligning teeth than clear aligners, which may shorten the overall treatment time for some patients. We’re often asked how long treatment lasts, but there’s no “one size fits all” answer since this is decided on a case-by-case basis. The average, however, tends to be anywhere from 12-36 months.
Maintaining traditional braces may be a bit of a challenge, especially in the beginning. A good dental hygiene routine is essential for orthodontic patients, but getting the brackets and wires completely clean can be tricky, thanks to all those nooks and crannies. It’s easy for food debris to get stuck, giving bad bacteria a place to flourish. This increases the risk for tooth decay and cavities, so it’s important to brush and floss thoroughly.
Fortunately, several accessories are available that can simplify your oral hygiene routine! Oral irrigators use a targeted stream of water to help rinse those hard-to-reach places, and ortho-picks are useful when it comes to flossing with braces.
Food restrictions can be one of the biggest learning curves with braces. To keep your teeth and braces safe, you’ll need to avoid anything crunchy or chewy until you finish your treatment. This includes some raw fruits and veggies, popcorn, gum, nuts, and several kinds of sweets. Remember: this is only temporary and will all be worth it once your braces come off and we reveal your beautiful new smile!
Braces patients are scheduled for follow-up visits with us every 6-8 weeks or so. During these appointments, one of our doctors will change the bands attached to the brackets. They may choose to replace the wire at this time as well. These visits are an essential part of your treatment plan and help ensure you get the best results in the least amount of time. You don’t want to miss them if you can help it!
Everything you need to know about Invisalign clear aligners
Invisalign clear aligners offer patients a less invasive way to straighten their teeth. We’re big fans of Invisalign here at Orthodontic Specialists! We’re an Elite Top 1% practice, and our doctors are all top 1% Invisalign providers. This means that they have successfully treated over 3,000 patients with Invisalign clear aligners and been nationally recognized for their expertise. Drs. Ison, Noll, Rechtin, and Jacobs frequently train other orthodontists and dentists on how to effectively treat patients with Invisalign, so you can trust you’re putting your smile in the very best hands with our team!
Patient compliance is a huge factor in how successful clear aligner treatment is, as the system can only work when the recommended guidelines are followed. If aligners aren’t worn the required 20-22 hours per day throughout the course of treatment, the results can be affected. This can also add time to the orthodontic process. Aligners will also need to be switched out for the next in the series every 1-2 weeks to keep the teeth moving in the direction we want them to go. As with braces, there’s no concrete answer for how long a patient will need to wear the aligners. The average tends to be 12-24 months, but this can vary widely.
Invisalign aligners are extremely easy to maintain. They’re designed to be removed before eating or drinking anything other than water, so you never have to worry about food getting stuck in your brackets or wires. You also take them out before brushing and flossing, so dental hygiene is a much simpler process than it is with braces. The removability of the aligners means there are no food restrictions, so you’re free to eat everything you normally would as long as you’re careful to brush after every meal and floss nightly!
Our Invisalign patients will typically have follow-up visits every 4-8 weeks. In between these appointments, you’ll be responsible for changing your aligner at the recommended interval. If you make a habit of skipping or rescheduling your visits, or miss changing your aligners when you’re scheduled to, it can quickly undo any progress you’ve made.
Find the right fit for your unique smile with Orthodontic Specialists
Braces and Invisalign aligners are both effective solutions for straightening smiles, but what works for one patient may not be a good fit for another. That’s why it’s so important to work with an experienced orthodontic team like ours!
When you schedule an orthodontic consultation with us, one of our doctors will examine your smile and let you know which treatment would be the best fit for your lifestyle and your goals. This kind of personalized treatment will result in a beautifully aligned smile you’ll be able to enjoy for many years to come.
Our offices are proud to offer Invisalign treatment for the same cost as braces! This treatment is also available with:
- no down payment
- in-house financing with 0% interest guaranteed
- monthly payments as low as $99/month
To learn more about how braces and Invisalign aligners can transform your smile, get in touch today to schedule a FREE consultation with our expert team.